"As usual, the court went on a progress in the early autumn, though, because of the King's absence and the plague, its extent was limited to a southern half-circuit of the capital from west to east. "

It was customary for the court to go on an annual "progress", travelling about the country, staying at royal residences.  As Queen, Elizabeth often reduced her own costs by visiting the homes of her courtiers. Although it was considered an honour to entertain the royal household, the expense was often crippling.  The expected royal style had to be maintained, and the members of the court and staff had to be housed and fed, resulting in the host frequently running up huge debts.

Nonsuch Palace. Copper engraving by Georg Braun and Franz Hogenburg 1598 based on a 1582 drawing by Joris or Georg Hoefnagel
Public DomainNonsuch Palace. Copper engraving by Georg Braun and Franz Hogenburg 1598 based on a 1582 drawing by Joris or Georg Hoefnagel - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 Woking in Surrey was one of the places visited on this progress, as was Nonsuch Palace, also in Surrey, of which nothing remains today.  Nonsuch was one of Henry's grander building projects: a lavish palace built from scratch, unlike most of his other projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leeds Castle at sunset Photo by Ron Smith
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeLeeds Castle at sunset Photo by Ron Smith - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Leeds Castle in Kent still stands, and is a popular tourist destination.  It is a particularly lovely castle, surrounded by a moat complete with white and black swans.  Originally a manor house built in the 11th century, it has been a royal castle since the 12th century.  Henry VIII redesigned and renovated the castle for Catherine of Aragon.